Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg

NET WORTH: $2.8 billion

SOURCE of WEALTH: Paramount, Fox, USA Network

FUNDING AREAS: Public Spaces, Community Building, Education, Human Rights, Arts, Health, Environment

OVERVIEW: Signers of the Giving Pledge, Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, are active philanthropists who have given away tens of millions of dollars to a wide variety of charitable causes through their Diller von-Furstenberg Family Foundation.

BACKGROUND: After dropping out of UCLA, Diller started his entertainment career in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency. He then went to work as an assistant to the president of ABC, where he worked his way up to VP of Development. He then left for Paramount Pictures, where he spent 10 years as the Chairman and CEO, followed by 12 years as Chairman and CEO of Fox. He then developed the USA Network, and now serves as chair of Expedia.

ISSUES: 

PUBLIC SPACES: Diller and von Furstenberg have given tens of millions to Friends of the High Line, and pledged at least $113 million for a new waterfront park in New York City. The new 2.7-acre Hudson River Park pier will be called Pier55. In addition, they've donated to the Central Park Conservancy and Los Angeles Parks Foundation, among others.

ARTS: Organizations that have received funding from the couple include Our Time Theatre, Whitney Museum, Carnegie Hall, Musicares, and Signature Theater. Smaller contributions have also been made to theaters, public spaces, and other cultural institutions, mostly in New York, but also in New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Texas, and the Holocaust Museum in D.C.

COMMUNITY BUILDING: Grantees have included Citymeals-on-Wheels, Chabad of Los Feliz, and Beverly Hills Police Officers Association.

EDUCATION: Most of Diller and von Furstenberg’s funding in education has gone directly to schools in New York and L.A. Examples include Village Academies, the New School, the Curtis School, P.S. 184M, and the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute. KIPP New York and Outward Bound have also received funding, as have MIT, and the UCLA Foundation.

HEALTH: While the couple hasn’t chosen any specific issue to focus on, or made any truly significant commitments to health-related organizations, they have made contributions, usually in the $10,000-$25,000 range to places such as the Beth Israel Medical Center, Aid for AIDS of Nevada, the Texas Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and National Parkinsons Foundation.

HUMAN RIGHTS: Diller and von Furstenberg regularly contribute to Human Rights Watch. They’ve also made numerous donations to Vital Voices, an organization that focuses on empowering women throughout the world, addressing issues such as human rights, economic empowerment, and political and public leadership, and several other organizations, including Doctors without Borders, Oxfam America, and the Naked Heart Foundation, which works to ensure children in Russia have loving families and safe places to play.

ENVIRONMENT: Grantees have included Conservation International, Heal the Bay, and NRDC.

LOOKING FORWARD: Diller and von Furstenberg have ramped up their charitable giving in recent years. With nearly $60 million in assets, the foundation is poised to further increase its giving, but we suspect this is only the beginning, since the couple has pledged to give more than $1 billion to charity through their Giving Pledge.

CONTACT:

Diller Family Foundation
℅ Sarah Knutson Arrow Investment
555 W. 18th St., 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
(212) 314-7225

LINK:

dvfff.org